DCIG is in the process of researching the Hybrid Storage Array marketplace with the intention of publishing the DCIG 2015-16 Hybrid Storage Array Buyers Guide in February/March 2015. This will be an update to the DCIG 2014 Hybrid Storage Array Buyers Guide that was published in November 2013. Since the publication of 2014 edition, nearly every vendor has come out with new models, warranting a fresh snapshot of this dynamic marketplace.
Flash is by all estimates the future of enterprise production storage with most enterprises anticipating a day in the not too distant future where they will use flash storage arrays (all-flash or hybrid) much more broadly within their data center. Yet despite flash’s many benefits (higher levels of performance, smaller data center footprint and reduced energy consumption among others,) many enterprises still only use flash in a limited capacity if they use it at all. Today I take a look at some of the factors that still contribute to an enterprise reticence to adopt flash more broadly.
Hybrid storage arrays, which dynamically place data in storage pools that combine flash memory and HDDs, are rapidly expanding their market share in the enterprise space. These arrays use the latest generation of hardware – including multi-core CPUs and DRAM and flash caches – to offer high levels of performance and inline data optimization. However, the ZS4-4’s underlying architecture and its unique ability to integrate with Oracle Database 12c make it a superior storage platform to accelerate Oracle Database performance and reduce storage capacity requirements.
DCIG is pleased to announce the release of its inaugural DCIG 2014-15 High End Storage Array Buyers Guide that weights, scores and ranks more than 100 features of thirteen (13) different storage arrays from five different storage providers.
Dedicating a single flash-based storage array to improving the performance of a single application may be appropriate for siloed or small SAN environments. However this is NOT an architecture that enterprises want to leverage when hosting multiple applications in larger SAN environments, especially if the flash-based arrays has only a few or unproven data management services behind it. The new Oracle FS1 Series Flash Storage System addresses these concerns by providing enterprises both the levels of performance and the mature and robust data management services that they need to move flash-based arrays from the fringes of their SAN environments into their core.
There is literally a divergence occurring right now in data storage solutions. On one hand, a number of storage providers seek to deliver highly differentiated storage solutions that work with a broad set of applications and operating systems. On the other, a few providers focus on delivering a storage solution that tightly integrates with one or more applications to deliver unparalleled levels of application performance and ease of management. The latest Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance ZS3 Series with its new OS8.2 provide the best of what both of these categories of storage systems currently have to offer to deliver a storage platform that truly stands apart.
At TechEd 2014 in Houston, TX this week, Microsoft made it clear that it is no longer content to just send customers to storage array vendors to meet their storage needs, especially when it comes to embracing a cloud-oriented approach to infrastructure. In the process of improving Windows storage technology, Microsoft is effectively delivering the benefits of–and addressing the barriers to–the adoption of server SAN technology.
Toward the end of April Wikibon’s David Floyer posted an article on the topic of server SANs entitled “The Rise of Server SANs” which generated a fair amount of attention and was even the focus of a number of conversations that I had at this past week’s Symantec Vision 2014 conference in Las Vegas. However I have to admit, when I first glanced at some of the forecasts and charts that were included in that piece, I thought Wikibon was smoking pot and brushed it off. But after having had some lengthy conversations with attendees at Symantec Vision, I can certainly see why Wikibon made some of the claims that it did.
In 2014, high-density flash memory storage such as the 4TB Viking Technology αlpha SSD will accelerate the flash-based disruption of the storage industry and of the data center. Technology providers that engage in a fresh high-density flash-storage-enabled rethinking of their products will empower savvy data center architects to substantially improve the performance, capacity and efficiency of their data centers. Businesses will benefit by reducing the cost of running their IT infrastructures while increasing their capacity to serve customers and generate profits.
Providing high levels of capacity is only relevant if a storage array can also deliver high levels of performance. The number of CPU cores, the amount of DRAM and the size of the flash cache are the key hardware components that most heavily influence the performance of a hybrid storage array. In this second blog entry in my series examining the Oracle ZS3 Series storage arrays, I examine how its performance compares to that other leading enterprise storage arrays using published performance benchmarks.
The key for many enterprises today is to identify a storage provider that delivers the best of what next generation hybrid storage arrays have to offer. However, technology alone is not enough for enterprise organizations. This storage provider also has to meet internal financial stability and long-term viability requirements as well as deliver enterprise-class technical service and support.